Columbia - High Road scores in GP Almeria
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Monday, March 2, 2009

Columbia - High Road scores in GP Almeria

by VeloNation Press at 7:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Press Release
Exceptionally strong teamwork by Columbia-Highroad in the GP Almeria in Spain on Sunday culminated with an impressive sprint victory for New Zealander Greg Henderson.

Henderson netted his first triumph of 2009 after Columbia-Highroad completely shattered the field in strong crosswinds mid-way through the 169 kilometre race. No less than seven Columbia-Highroad riders out of a possible eight, were present in the 25-strong lead group. After the last breakaway was caught from an early move and the group swelled to 35 units, Columbia-Highroad completed their domination of the race by setting up a perfect sprint finale for Henderson.

The New Zealander won by over a bike length ahead of Australian Graeme Brown and Italian Stefano Garzelli, saying afterwards that “if I hadn’t taken it, I would have felt like a right idiot. We did so much work today, we really deserved to win.”

“What happened today was something very exceptional, something I’ve rarely seen in cycling,” added team sports director Tristan Hoffman. “For a team to work so well together and split the field apart like that with so many riders and then take it all the way through to the finish was simply amazing. Even when you’ve planned for it, it’s not at all easy for it to happen.”

“About half-way through the race, Tristan had a look at the route book and saw we were going into an area with a lot of cross-winds,” Henderson pointed out.
“So we got everybody to the front, broke the race in two, then it came back, then we split it apart again. We were riding so hard we must have been doing 55-60kmh with the tailwinds. We caught the last rider from a breakaway with about ten kilometres to go and then I started expecting Rabobank or Saxo to start setting things up for the sprint. After all, I couldn’t expect more from my team after everything they’d done.”

“Eight kilometres to go went past, four, three, the last kilometre - and we were still on the front. Unbelievable. And then it clicked, nobody else was going to come through, we were still in control.”

Appropriately enough after Columbia-Highroad’s excellent early team work throughout the race, even in the last kilometre almost everybody was able to contribute to Henderson’s victory.

“Craig Lewis and [Kanstantsin] Sivtzov started to wind things up, then Michael Albasini took over from 700 metres to 400 and finally Tony Martin brought me up to the ideal final speed. I accelerated with about 200 metres to go, and though I sensed Brownie [Graeme Brown] was coming up I knew I was going to get it.”

Henderson and Columbia-Highroad now remain in Spain for the Tour of Murcia, which starts on Wednesday.

For more information on Team Columbia-Highroad visit

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